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08 September 2014


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"IMO the Ukrainians would rather live in peace and be on good terms with the West and Russia… or at least not make enemies of either."

Agreed. The polls from the time before the crisis consistently suggested nothing less: Independence from Russia and no membership in NATO.

That would allow Ukraine to take from both sides what they can get, while both sides have influence but neither side has control. If not for the endemic corruption and the oligarchs, they could do as well as the Finns. What's not to like. Everybody but the nuts could be happy.

But this isn't enough! Our imperial overlords in their fathomless wisdom have passed that the Ukrainians are to choose betwen East and West, and spent 5 billion to make sure the answer ist West. As a result the country has fractured. Which is Moscow's fault for opposing it.


I think you might want to check your link to “Swarm Tactics and the Doctrinal Void: Lessons from the Chechen Wars.”

Which goes to another document entitled "The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory and Concept Based Experimentation:
Armed To Fight in the 21st Century"

A link to the document you cite is this URI:

Given that the length of the link will probably break the site's layout could you please edit it out of this comment once you've altered the URI in your posting?



TTG: I agree with you that the momentum seems to have been lost for the Novorossiyan forces but also that they were in danger of overextending. I find myself wondering whether they came under very strong pressure to agree to a ceasefire from - let us say their backers, precisely in order to allow them to regroup and perhaps re-equip? I'm asking you to speculate I know but I'd be interested in your thoughts on that.



In reply to confusedponderer 09 September 2014 at 05:26 AM

Ah but "Finlandisation" has always been a dirty word. Didn't you get the memo? Check your inbox - It's the one written in runes on hide and dating back to ....


The Twisted Genius


Thanks for that. I fixed the link in the post and removed the long assed URL in your comment.

The Twisted Genius


I have no doubt there was extreme pressure by Russia. Putin is doing his level best to reduce the risk of nuclear war while still seeking his regional and global objectives. More on that later.


Oh, I know the word.

In the Wiki entry on 'Finlandisation' there is a sentence that is worth quoting in full:

"In Finland, the term "Finlandization" was perceived as blunt criticism, stemming from an inability to understand the practicalities of how a small nation needs to deal with an adjacent superpower without losing its sovereignty."


It isn't, as the polemicists have it, submission.

The Fins in sum did rather well despite it. The Finnish model would be one in which Ukraine would do well in the end. What's so bad about neutrality?

FB Ali

Re long URLs, you may like to check this out (it works!):




Here's a mini-series that I thought you'd find interesting, it's about a ГРУ 'retiree' who still has a lot of energy about him.

Отставник (2009, 2010, 2011).Три серии

Piotr, Poland


1 Lets look at Ukrainian Presidential Elections 2014 official results:
- Tiagnibok (Svoboda) - 1% of votes
- Yarosh (Pravyy Sector) - 1% of votes
- Vadim Rabinovitch, Jewish candidate - 2% of votes


Do you still mind calling Ukrainians "Fashists" is appropriate thing?

2. Can you name just one (or more, if possible) political organisation in Ukraine claimed federalisation of that country or openly demanded secession of so called Novorosiya from Ukraine before 2014?

Normaly, before beginning of military phase of national conflict, we have political phase of it, where a political organisation demands as loudly as possible autonomy for the region, or creation of the new country etc. (examples - IRA in Ireland or FRETILIN in East Timor).

How can you explain lack of political phase in Ukraine/Russia national conflict?
Can you show any other national conflict which started from military action without any political separatist activities before?


Or as put in these immortal lines:

"That's detente, comrade. I don't have it, you don't have it!"



You mean the results of the 2014 post coup sham election? That was sure a free and fair election. The political phase you are looking for was ten years long and funded with $5 billion from the NED.


In reply to confusedponderer 09 September 2014 at 10:53 AM

There you go being reasonable again, bad, bad, bad, you can join me and seemingly most of the readership of this site in the corner reserved for the willfully reasonable. It's the polemicists setting the agenda, would that it were not.

Yes the Finns did very well out of neutrality as indeed did the Swedes, the Swiss, the Irish.



CP, Dubhaltach,

Another example, perhaps, would be the Swiss (and the Swedes and the Irish) during World War II. They were not exactly "friends" of the Nazis (or the English, in case of the Irish), but collaborated with them to the degree that served their needs and wants, while also cooperating with the Allies (or, politely neutral with regards to the Nazis, in case of the Irish--who, as far as I know, never actively cooperated with Germany at the government level) as necessary, while "resisting" both sides, even with force of arms, when necessary. On the whole, they did quite well during the war, but decades later, they are deemed as a sort of moral whores for having done so, including, I believe, by a substantial number of their own people.

As AJP Taylor supposedly said, people learn all the wrong things from history.



Notwithstanding the lack of popular support, Svoboda and Pravy Sektor do enjoy disproportionate share of power in the current Kiev government and are involved in making the extreme, polarizing decisions that exacerbated the internal conflicts within Ukraine.

Let's think of it this way. The original Nazis, those in 1930s Germany, NEVER enjoyed support from anything approaching a majority of Germans. But they did run the country with iron hand for more than a decade.

There is one major example where the secessionist politics spread like wildfire and led to a big military conflict within half a year: United States in 1860-1. With the exception of South Carolina (and this is rather debatable) there was no serious prior talk of actual secession in most of the to-be-Confederate States, especially in places like Virginia. Fighting began while people were still mulling in a number of states and that sealed the issue.


Correction to above:

I should have said serious talk of secession "in the South." There were both serious philosophical debates about secession and an actual convention to discuss possibility of secession (in New England) before the Civil War....


Many Thanks - I never seem to get around to trying that out. Really I'll have to start.



In reply to The Twisted Genius 09 September 2014 at 09:35 AM

I'll look forward to it.



In reply to Piotr, Poland 09 September 2014 at 10:56 AM

If it looks like a duck, walks and swims like a duck, quacks like a duck. Then it's reasonable to call it a duck.

This applies to fascists as well. And please don't even _think_ of trying to pretend that the current Ukrainian regime isn't thoroughly infiltrated by nationalists and ethnic chauvinists so rabid that fascist is an entirely apposite description both of their political beliefs and behaviour.


The Twisted Genius


The problem is not the Ukrainian people. It is the junta in Kiev. The junta is fascist and is pursuing virulently fascist policies. That's what sparked calls for federalization early this year and, eventually, calls for outright succession in the east. I blame neocon and R2P enablement of the Svoboda and Pravy Sektor fascists for this mess.


The Ukraines have always voted tactically in presidential elections. The fascist parties have polled about %10 nationally in the legislative elections with the Lvov oblast polling about %30. However, I agree that the Ukrainian people do not support them and it is not correct to call them fascist. But after the coup, it is not incorrect to point out that the knew government is now heavily influenced by the fascists. It is especially noteworthy that the interior ministry is headed by the Svoboda party and they are responsible for building a new federal police force under the designation of a 'national guard'.

robt willmann

Here is the downloadable "Preliminary Report" about the crash on 17 July of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which went down over Ukraine. It is by the Dutch Safety Board.



Some of the pieces of wreckage had "multiple holes and indentations" (p. 22), "numerous small holes and indentations" (p. 23), "puncture holes" (p. 23), "holes indicating penetration from outside" (p. 24), "material around the holes was deformed in a manner consistent with being punctured by high-energy objects" (p. 24), "material deformation around the puncture holes appear to indicate that the objects originated from outside the fuselage" (p. 24), "Puncture holes identified in images of the cockpit suggested that small objects entered from above the level of the cockpit floor" (p. 25), and "The pattern of damage observed in the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft was consistent with the damage that would be expected from a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside" (p. 25).

Hmmm..."numerous small holes", "puncture holes", "small objects", "punctured by high-energy objects", a "large number" of "high-energy objects", apparently zeroed in on the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft.

This is all deliberately and shamefully vague, although the report seems to say that some of the wreckage has not yet been recovered, and it is unclear how much of the wreckage has been recovered and how much has been forensically examined.

David Habakkuk

Piotr, Poland,

Popular support, as Stalin could have told you, is relevant, but only up to a point. Also important is who controls what a Stalinist would have called the 'organs'. An article by in 'The National Interest' by David C. Hendrickson in March is to the point – note the phrase 'where the coercive power of the state resides':

'It has yet to be reported in major western newspapers that the new government installed in Ukraine on February 26, after the deposition and flight of Viktor Yanukovych, includes eight figures associated with Ukraine’s far right. The positions they have filled are not insignificant. They include deputy prime minister, chief prosecutor, defense minister and head of the national-security council, portfolios where the coercive power of the state resides. Svoboda, the main nationalist party, has made some attempt to shed its fascist lineage, but the World Jewish Congress last year asked the EU to consider banning it, and there is much in its history and outlook that should be deeply troubling to westerners. Dmytro Yarosh, head of the “Right Sector,” is Deputy Secretary of National Security in the interim government; among his comrades are men who joined in fighting the Russians in Chechnya, and who see the Chechens as their allies. Right Sector is a paramilitary organization, like Greece’s Golden Dawn; their entry into a European government is an important milestone, and not of the celebratory sort.

'The amazing thing is that the composition of the new government has attracted no attention. None of the major newspapers – I checked the FT, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal – had seen fit to report it (as of Saturday, March 8, two weeks after the announcements). On March 5, Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com published a full investigation; Raimando’s column was itself partially based on a March 5 story by Britain’s Channel 4. But it is still not news in mainstream media land.'

(See http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/getting-ukraine-wrong-10030 .)

On anti-Semitism in West Ukraine, an interview with Omer Bartov, an historian of the region, whose forbears managed to escape the Holocaust, may be of interest to you. An extract:

'Antisemitism is especially strong in those parts of Ukraine where there are the lowest numbers of Jews and where complicity in the eradication of Jewish communities was greatest – that is, in the regions where the collaborators in the genocide were also those who were seen then, and are seen again now, following the collapse of communism, as the national heroes and liberators of Ukraine. So antisemitism is linked intimately to the absence of Jews rather than to their presence. This is most of all the case in Western Ukraine, the former Eastern Galicia, which was the cradle of Ukrainian nationalism, and from which the Jews were most systematically eradicated with particularly close collaboration from Ukrainian nationalists, who dreamed of a Ukraine free of Jews and Poles. Indeed, the main antisemitic argument in Western Ukraine today is that the government in Kiev is controlled by the Jews, and by their alleged “Jew-oligarchs” from Russia.'

(See http://forward.com/articles/12231/tracing-galicia-a-talk-with-omer-bartov-/ .)

David Habakkuk

robt willman,

One thing that may perhaps be new in the report is the last FDR point on the Google Earth picture on page 21 – which is several kilometres along an azimuth of a bit less than 300 degrees (guesstimate) from Pelahiivka.

If this is supposed to be the point at which the plane was hit, it would not appear to match early Western claims about social media showing a vertical launch from somewhere in the Torez/Snizhne area.

(For a 20 July FT article recycling such claims, see http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a1dcc628-1010-11e4-90c7-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz3BKLzWdAq .)

Whether this FDR point can be reconciled with the claims made in the very curious briefing given on 22 July by U.S. intelligence analysts, which showed a missile launched from Snizhne rising not vertically but at something like a 40 degree angle to the ground, is not clear to me.

(For these claims see http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-ukraine-intelligence-us-20140722-story.html . )

FB Ali

The easiest way is to put the TinyURL icon on your toolbar (just click and drag as shown on their page). Once there all you have to do is just click on the icon whenever needed, and it will produce a TinyURL, which you copy to your clipboard with another click.

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